Chapter 12: Silence Is the Prayer
Mulla Nasruddin was the fourth. He said, “Praise be to Allah! I am the only one who has not broken his silence yet.”
They have heard the word silence. They have heard silence is prayer. Why did this happen? When someone else was breaking his silence everyone was aware, but when someone was himself breaking it he was not aware. Why? Because to them, to talk, to utter something, was breaking the silence. Really, you never hear whatsoever you say. When someone else says it, you hear it. You are so accustomed to your own sound and voice you don’t know what you are saying, that you are talking.
Another difficulty is: we are constantly talking inside, so when you utter something outwardly there is no difference for you. Inwardly, you were already talking. Now you have uttered something outwardly. As far as you are concerned nothing has changed, nothing has happened. But when someone else utters something, for you something new has happened. He was silent before and now he has uttered something. You yourself are talking within, so when you utter something you will not be aware. Someone else may become aware that now you have broken silence.
We are aware of others because inwardly we are constantly talking with ourselves. A monologue, a continuous monologue is there. Awake or asleep, we are continuously talking. This continuous talk has become such a habit that you have not known any interval when you were not talking inwardly. When you are talking with others, you feel relieved, relaxed, because when you are talking with others you are relieved of the duty of talking to yourself. And that is such a boring thing, to talk with oneself. You already know what you are going to say, and still you have to continue.
No one else can be such a bore to you as you yourself are. You have told these things to yourself millions of times, and again and again you are telling them. We are not very inventive. We go on in circles saying the same thing again and again. Watch - watch for twenty-four hours and note down what you are saying to yourself. Then you will just feel a very weird feeling, strange, that this you have been saying continuously your whole life. Even in one day, you go on repeating yourself.
This has become just a habit, deep-rooted. And when something becomes a habit, deep-rooted, you are not aware of it. It becomes automatic. The robot part of your body takes it and continues it. That’s why silence is very difficult, because silence really means breaking the monologue within. It is not a question of not talking to someone else. Moun, silence, is not really concerned with others; deep down it is concerned with your own monologue.
Don’t talk with yourself. This is very difficult, so we will have to find out reasons why we talk with ourselves. Why in the first place - why do we go on talking with ourselves? If you observe, then you can find out the cause.